Archive for November, 2007

PixelJunk Monsters

This title is scheduled to hit PSN in December and rumored to hit next Thursday.


Not much info is available, but it very clearly looks like a tower defense title. If you haven’t played a tower defense game, they are really simple, very addicting, and somewhat mind numbing games. There are several free Flash versions:


These games seem like low hanging fruit: easy to make, very addicting and fun to play, yet mostly unoriginal.


Yet, despite the unoriginal concept, and plethora of free variants on the web, a well done rendition of this type of game would be a real safe crowd pleaser.

Speaking of safe crowd pleasers, why doesn’t PSN offer the staple checkers, chess, and card games that are so popular on Yahoo? Sure, they are already available everywhere, but they are pretty easy to develop and have such a wide appeal.

Anyone else looking forward to this?

Should PSN focus on safe crowd pleasers like this one, or risky and experimental titles, or a mix of the two?


PlayStation Home Beta Videos – Full Walkthrough

Even if the rest of use can’t get into the Home Beta at least we can see it. The character creation is pretty detailed, I’m impressed. I have a sinking feeling in my gut that the public beta of home may never come 🙁 Spring 2008 is so far away.

More videos at the link below.

PlayStationHome’s Videos


Video Games vs. Other Forms of Leisure

We’ve spent a ton of time talking about games on this site. This post compares different types of video games to their non-video game parallel.

Video Games: Frequency, Amplitude, Guitar Hero, Rock Band
Non-Game Parallel: Playing a real instrument.

Why play with a plastic guitar, when you can practice with a real instrument? I don’t think these are exclusive behaviors at all. I enjoy a little of both. The games are much more forgiving and are easier to play and appreciate, while the real instruments can be far more rewarding when you are in the mood to give them your full concentration. If you do love music games and haven’t touched a real instrument in years, I would definitely recommend giving it a shot.

Non-Game Leisure Activity: Reading a novel
Video Game Parallel: Narrative driven single player experiences such as Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt, or Resident Evil.

I love certain really good narrative driven single player games such as Manhunt or GTA. These seem to fill the exact role in my leisure activities that novels do for other people. They are both linear, solitary, story driven experiences.

Video Games: Brain Training, PQ, and other puzzle Games.
Non-Game Parallel: Crossword puzzles, novelty puzzle books.

The title “Brain Training” implies genuine learning, but it is merely a catchy title for a puzzle game. If you want to really learn something put down the crossword puzzle and the game controller, and go master a new craft, build something new, grow your career skills, or take a challenging course at a local college.

Video Games: Multiplayer Deathmatch titles. A few familiar examples are Resistance, Warhawk, and COD4.
Non-Game Parallel: Playing cards or shooting pool with a group of friends.

Both game and non-game variations of these activities are simple, repetitive, prmarily social experiences. The non-game variants provides more social face to face interaction, while the video games provide more convenience, variety, and technology.

Non-Game Leisure Activity: Exercise. Going to a gym, riding a bike, going for a run, doing laps in a pool, playing on a intramural team, etc.
Video Game Parallel: Wii Fit, Eye Toy Kinetics, DDR games, etc.

These video games are really a novelty at this point. Almost everyone prefers real physical exercise, however the video games are probably appreciated by a small niche audience. DDR is also great fun for kids.

Can you identify any other such parallels? Do any of the above parallels miss the mark? Do you prefer the game or non-game variations? Speak up in the comments.


Burnout Paradise Interview

Here’s another interview with the makers of the upcoming Burnout: Paradise. A snippet:

The camera features are really cool. How did you come up with those?

Channon: In the past we may have just moved a PS2 game up to 360, but now we’ve made a game specific for next-gen. Part of that was using all the tech that we could and we felt that the cameras were so cool and underused.

We felt that with the features that we were putting in it could be really innovative. The fact that we’re doing social gaming and playing with you friends, that was just a great extension of expressing that.

The cameras really lent themselves well in the fact that if you’re playing with your friends, showing your crash face, showing your face when you’ve won is a great extension of that feature. Certainly I think it’s going to help push camera because it’s such a cool, fun feature.

I’m still pissed that there’s no splitscreen in this game, but it still looks like fun.

Burnout Paradise –


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